Adapting comic books for the screen is hard work, plain and simple. What makes the job even harder is appeasing the die-hard fan base of The Walking Dead.
No matter how hard producers try to make every fan happy, it's inevitable that they will have to make some changes from the source material.
The Walking Dead has changed countless characters and stories from the graphic novels, in an effort to make the show more exciting and unexpected. Sometimes, these changes are welcomed. Other times, they're frowned upon.
For instance, the changes in Carol from the books to the series have been praised by audiences. Instead of the weak housewife from the comics, Carol was made into one of the strongest, and most compelling, characters in the series.
On the other hand, fans feel like the character of Andrea was wildly mishandled.
In the comics, Andrea has been a main character since Rick first joined the group. Over the years, Andrea ends up falling in love with Rick and helps him raise Carl. On the show, Andrea dies after a couple of seasons. Her character was strong, but she was killed off before she had a real chance to grow.
While the series has changed some characters from their original iterations, it also introduced the world to many original characters that were completely absent from the comics.
There have been quite a few over the years, and audiences have responded positively to these additions.
Click ahead to see our top five Walking Dead characters who were absent from the comics.
Eastman only appeared in one episode of The Walking Dead, but he left his mark as one of the most level-headed characters of the series.
In episode titled Here's Not Here, we got to watch what happened to Morgan in all that time he spent away. While many thought he was on his own, he was actually in the care of a man named Eastman.
Throughout the episode, we watched as Eastman used Buddhist thinking and positivity to transform Morgan's psyche. As a crazed killer, Morgan represented everything Eastman did not.
Over time, Eastman was able to change the man into a peaceful warrior.
The layers of depth in Eastman's character are unlike many others in the series. In just one episode, we were fully able to grasp who he was and how he fit into the world he was given.
His complexity and compassion captivated audiences, and John Carroll Lynch gave a masterful performance.
Unfortunately, Eastman was killed at the conclusion of the episode. His teachings live on through Morgan, as to insure that this is one character we will never forget.prevnext
Over the first couple of seasons, Rick and the group faced difficulty around every turn. From the farm to the prison, these folks just couldn't catch a break.
Yet, no matter how tough things became, T-Dog was always there to lend a hand.
One of the original survivors, T-Dog was loved by fans for his limitless courage. If something needed done, he was always the first to volunteer. Even in the most dangerous of circumstances, T-Dog would do anything to keep his friends from danger.
This brave and loyal lifestyle was necessary in the dark times the group faced, but it didn't come without a price.
As the prison was overrun, T-Dog sacrificed himself to keep Carol out of harm's way. Guns blazing, the hero ran back into the infected corridor and gave the entire group a fighting chance.
He may have seemed like a minor character, but T-Dog brought major energy to each and every episode.prevnext
3. Sasha Williams
In the comics, Tyrese arrives at the prison with his daughter in tow. For the series, producers decided to give him a sister instead. Sasha first appeared in season three, and she has proved to be a pivotal character in the later episodes.
Since Andrea has been gone for a number of seasons, Sasha has developed many of the traits that once belonged to the character.
From an aggressive voice of reason to resident sharp-shooter, Williams has filled in flawlessly. She was also given multiple love interests over the years.
Balancing a violent personality and a soft heart is a fine line that makes many writers stumble. Fortunately, for Walking Dead fans, Sasha represents the best of both qualities.prevnext
2. Merle Dixon
When The Walking Dead first began, no one expected they would grow to love Merle Dixon. His racist comments and vulgar demeanor made him a nightmare for the survivors, and most fans couldn't wait to see him dead.
By the time he died, however, we were all mourning the loss.
Merle Dixon, brother of Daryl, was an immensely interesting character. He seemed to change drastically over the course of 17 episodes, but he also didn't seem to change that much. He used his power to save the lives of good people, but he never lost that irritating edge.
An antihero in it's truest form, Merle played audiences like a violin until his final breath. We never knew what to expect from the character, and that was exactly what made him so much fun to watch.
Michael Rooker nailed the portrayal of the character, and his scenes tended to bring out the best of Norman Reedus (Daryl) as well. The death of Merle was incredibly powerful, and that was largely due to the performances of the two actors.prevnext
1. Daryl Dixon
"If Daryl dies, we riot."
This mantra has been stamped across t-shirts, turned into screen savers, and chanted by Walking Dead fans around the globe.
These people have made one fact abundantly clear: Everyone loves Daryl Dixon.
From day one, Daryl made an impact on fans with his bad boy attitude. Wielding a crossbow, and riding a motorcycle, he has always been the first to point out the flaws in their world.
This may be aggravating to other characters, but he is only saying what every fan is thinking.
Over the years, Daryl has become an intelligent warrior as Rick's Lieutenant. He is always coming up with unique ways to approach an enemy, and his loyalty is second-to-none. He is sometimes known to have a short temper, but Daryl has learned to harness that aggression toward aiding the people he loves.
Even though Daryl is completely absent from the books, he has become as vital to The Walking Dead as Rick Grimes himself.
What did you think of our list? Are there any characters you think should've made the cut? Let us know in the comments below, or on our Walking Dead on ComicBook.com Facebook Page.
The Walking Dead returns for its seventh season Sunday, October 23 at 9p.m. ET.prev